I wrote about this topic before but things are still difficult when it comes to this:
Now my favorite band of all time, SHINEDOWN, published their music video for their song "Get Up" - which deals with exactly this topic. The reason is as simple as it gets. It affects them. Because their incredibly talented bassist Eric Bass has a clinical depression.
So, let me tell you something about Eric.
He's strong. He goes up on stage night after night with this sickness in his brain (as it is a sickness, not more, not less) and makes us, the fans, the happiest people on earth. He gives us strength, even when he might not feel strong. He makes us smile, even when he might feel like crying. He builds us up, even when he might be down.
I really admire this man. For what he does, for who he is. Because he is amazing. And he shed some light on this very dark, very personal topic. He talks very open about it now and that helped many people I know to talk about their own demons and struggles as well. It helped me, too.
Here's a quote from Eric Bass. I think it says it all and it is very true:
"... if depression is the house fire, then the stigma of mental illness is the 80-pound ankle weight that keeps people from running out of the burning building. It's the saddest part of the story. They'd rather burn alive than ask for help. How many lives could be changed or saved if people felt they could ask their employer or teacher for help without fear of backlash or ridicule? It would change the entire scope of how these illnesses are dealt with. We have to change the narrative, and we have to do it soon."
- Eric Bass
Please let this sink in for a second. And then listen to this song: "Get Up" by Shinedown.
Mental illnesses are as real and as dangerous as physical illnesses. They affect millions of people. So why don't we treat them like we treat the flu or cancer?
Listen to the people around you. Listen if they need your help. Lend a helping hand!
And to those struggling... You are not alone. You are not! I am here with you, and so is Eric, and so is Shinedown, and so are thousands of others. And if you ever feel like you can't go on, just ask for help. It is okay to do so. It is not weak. It is important. And we are here.
You can always send me messages, here or via Twitter.
Always remember: You are not alone! We're in this together. And somebody really loves you and needs you in this world!